I have invited Kizzy from The Huddle to guest blog for me talking about The Huddle which is based in The Quedam Centre in Yeovil. The Huddle is a shop and a support space for new and expectant parents in South Somerset and beyond. As a Newborn photographer in South Somerset I am always looking for ways I can support my clients throughout their journey through pregnancy, birth and beyond. Kizzy and I share a passion for supporting families, particularly new and expectant parents so I knew Kizzy would be a perfect guest blogger for my business. The Huddle is such an asset to Somerset families.
Over to Kizzy.....
Becoming a parent is a privilege and yet the hardest job you will ever do. It is a job that comes with no training, no pay, no appraisals, a huge amount of responsibility and so many questions. Unfortunately, the answer to most of those questions comes with judgment, opinions and a whole barrel of (contradictory) unsolicited advice.
When my son was born, I seemed to fall apart after seeing other people – the doubt, comparisons and feeling like I should take others tips and suggestions. It threw me totally off our natural rhythm. It got me to go against my instincts. I found the bombardment of information from family, friends, health professionals and social media hard to navigate and often contradictory. Yet there never seemed to be an opportunity to share, talk and listen to new parents. Don’t even get me started on the toddler years! Why did they not create antenatal classes and toddler preparing classes!
As a trained early years teacher, play worker, carrying consultant and now parenting consultant I aim to support parents on this crazy journey! In the hope that I can support you the way I believe all parents deserve to be supported from bumps to school aged.
The Huddle is located in Yeovil’s Quedam Shopping Centre and was created mid pandemic in 2020. Why? To provide parent support face to face at a time when everything moved online. With the aim of offering a welcoming, inclusive and judgment free parent support space on the Highstreet.
The shop sells a range of wooden and sensory toys, accessories and slings. Every item in our shop is handpicked by me. I choose items I have used myself or wish I had known about before and all from independent UK businesses. I have chosen toys that will last and grow with your little one, many have more than one way to play and learn with them. I love nothing more than supporting you to find the right item to suit your little one and your budget. We have our very own toy testers who help me help you by knowing what are the most loved and played with.
Babywearing South West hosts sling clinics and consultations in the shop too. Slings and carriers are available to buy without an appointment. But if you would like personalised support to explore a range of slings, not just the ones we sell in the shop, and learn how to put the carrier on safely and confidently I highly recommend booking a consultation. It will actually save you money!
Now we are all out and about more it can become a bit overwhelming for little ones and yourselves. Finding a comfortable and safe space to sit and feed your little one can be a little tricky too. Did you know we have a feeding corner in the shop? Pop in, sit down and take a break, feed and chat.
Bottle feeding? Breastfeeding? Combination feeding? Baby showing signs of reflux? Fussy at the breast/bottle? I am feeding peer support trained, available for free support every day we are open! No appointment needed. What can I help with? Positioning and attachment, how to prepare a bottle, paced and responsive feeding, choosing formula, sign posting to other professionals, sharing useful links, videos and info to support you. This support is also available at all our groups run by me.
Don’t forget that if your baby is under 6 weeks you can call up the postnatal ward yourself and ask to be seen by the infant feeding team. There are also a range of regular feeding support groups. Check out your local health visitor groups, NCT, Le Leche League and other private peer support trained groups.
2.The family support space
Play & Support groups
Meeting others, sharing experiences, challenges, tips and friendships are a crucial part of surviving parenting! How are groups at The Huddle different?
We run a range of groups and one off sessions, and don’t forget out guest professionals too…
The groups and timetables are released monthly and can be booked here. You can book one off or the full month. If your preferred session is fully booked, keep an eye out for the weekly last minute spaces posts in case of cancellations.
My passion is in the groups and support offered to parents. Why not come along and see for yourself and become part of our penguin huddle.